The Work Capability Assessment was introduced in 2008 and replaced the previous assessment, Personal Capability Assessment (PCA). The WCA is the DWPs process for assessing whether a person is entitled to ESA based on their:
Limited Capability for Work - the extent to which the claimant’s health condition or disability affects their capability for work.
Limited Capability for Work-Related Activity - to determine whether the claimant should be placed into the Support Group because the effect of their condition is so severe that it would be unreasonable to expect them to engage in work-related activity.
The process involves the claimant completing an ESA50 questionnaire which asks about their ability to manage everyday tasks.
The claimant may also be asked to attend a face to face assessment with a doctor or nurse contracted by the DWP. The organisation contracted by the DWP to carry out the interviews is Maximus.
We have also created some advice for clinicians who are providing evidence for people being assessed for ESA.
In partnership with Mind, Rethink and the Citizen's Advice Bureau, the College has produced a briefing on the case for a more effective use of existing patient medical evidence to support a WCA (pdf).